Zentangles as Visual Journals

Zentangles are a great art project for everybody (including those who say they can’t draw).  Yes, they are glorified doodles but the “zen” part is not a joke,  drawing them tends to put people in a quiet, meditative state.  It has been my “first day of class lesson” for a few years now.  More info here.

A few years ago my dear husband had episodes of indigestion (cucumbers?) and long-story-short ended up in Duke University Hospital where he underwent quintuple heart bypass surgery.  Serious enough, but he also managed to have almost every complication a person could have (and he was not in poor health before) so our stress levels were high.

I decided to spend the long hours waiting for the surgery to be completed by doing a journal.   Only, as you may already know, writing is not my forte so I made it a visual journal.  I used a six-inch square sketchbook marketed for “Zentangles”.

These little drawings were highly personal to me, and I didn’t show these drawings to anyone for a year or two (except Duncan, see below).  Eventually I began sharing them with other people.

So here they are beginning with the simply labeled sketchbook.

zen 1 cover

This is from the long day of waiting for the surgery to be completed.  I realized afterwards that my anxiety really showed.

zen 2

The surgery was successful and our family took a collective breath of relief:

zen 3

Not much going on during this time:

zen 4

Poor baby with his heart pillow:

zen 5

But things started getting tense, maybe I had too high expectations concerning his care?  No, I didn’t and believe me, I was keeping an eye on everything!  BTW, the bottom quadrant were the designs in his bed covers, I think the left hand side was the tile floor.

zen 6

This day started out pretty well but began unraveling (I think it’s the day the staff rushed in with a crash cart and we didn’t know that his heart rate was dropping).

zen 7

A-fib does weird things with your heart rate, numbers were all over the place, but things were getting in control.

zen 8

Did I mention our son was getting married in December?  This day we went to a shower for them in Raeford.  Yes, it was a relief to know he was ok for me to leave.

zen 9

We went home and I showed Duncan my journal and tried to teach him how to Zentangle.  Think the drugs were too strong, lol!

zen 10

There were still complications upon returning home but we were keeping a positive attitude!  (this piece is obviously unfinished)

zen 11

This says it all:

zen 12



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